West Stormont Woodland Group

West Stormont
Woodland Group

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC051682

Join us today to bring Taymount Wood and Five Mile Wood into community ownership

Community Monthly Update – January 2023

A heartfelt wish for a Happy New Year to all our WSWG members and supporters. Here’s hoping 2023 will be a happy and positive year for us all and the WSWG Project. To update anyone who missed our announcement in the run-up to Christmas, the WSWG CATS Application to bring Taymount and Five Mile Wood into community ownership was submitted to Forestry and Land Scotland in December 2022. An evaluation and negotiating process will now take place over the next few months, which we truly intend will bring a happy and positive outcome for us all.

Wellies to the rescue in Taymount Wood on New Year’s Day

What has WSWG been doing this month?

We have now closed the Community Consultation on the WSWG website, and again thank you very much to everyone who contributed to it. In its place we have created a webpage where you can find the full portfolio of documents which made up our CATS Application to Forestry and Land Scotland, including the Business Plan, with detailed financial plans to 10 years and in outline to 25 years.

Gorse and scrub clearance started well in Five Mile Wood in December but mechanical problems with the machinery put things behind schedule a bit. Work along the main track in Five Mile Wood has now been completed, which will hugely improve access and open up the verges for the wildflowers again. Work will start in Taymount Wood on 13 January which is great as it means it will be completed before the bird nesting season begins. Long tailed tits are amongst the earliest often starting their exquisitely intricate nestbuilding in February, even in our part of the country in milder years. (Data from a national study conducted by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) shows that a large range of species are now breeding up to 31 days earlier than they were in the 1960s.)

Where has the Taymount Wood core path gone? Almost hidden by upright gorse last year, snow-lodged gorse made it completely impassable on New Year’s Day.

The core path in Taymount Wood has also been impeded in places by windblown trees for quite a while. The photo below shows where two recently windblown trunks in close proximity have made it virtually impassable a bit east of the gorse blockage. Forestry and Land Scotland are currently organising to have all the windblown trees cut through, which will make it so much easier to walk the full length of the woods again. Fingers crossed too that they may be able to arrange some vegetation clearance on the unsurfaced path between the main track and the north entrance at Five Mile Wood.

The latest windblown trees blocking the core path in Taymount Wood

Hopefully we will have some good “after” photos for the February Community Monthly Update!

Our Barefoot Woodland Wanderer’s “Wood-wide Web” blog was featured in the Community Woodlands Association’s Winter 2022 e-newsletter, which also included an article by Alastair Fraser on Tayside Woodland Partnerships. If you’d like to find out more about the amazing things being done by community woodland groups across Scotland, visit www.communitywoods.org

Word of the Month

Newfie Camp: This was the nickname given by local people to the loggers’ station which operated at Taymount Wood in 1940-41, manned by Canadian loggers in the Newfoundland Overseas Forestry Unit (NOFU). The official name of the station was Camp 53, Taymount, one of over 70 at UK level operated as part of the war effort. The old photo below shows loggers building a hut at the Taymount Camp. WSWG has sought to recall this part of Taymount Wood’s history by suggesting the community enterprise facilities in our proposed Taymount Hub be known as the Camp 53 Café, Shop, Exhibition Space and Meeting Room. What a wonderful local history project and standing exhibition the Newfie Camp could make for WSWG in future.

Canadian loggers building a hut at Camp 53, Taymount (Image: www.forestryjournal.co.uk)

What’s coming up next?

On 26 January, we will start the period of discussion and negotiation in the CATS process when two members of the CATS Panel, Judith Webb and Bill Slee, will be visiting the WSWG Project as a familiarisation process ahead of the formal CATS Panel meeting in February. We look forward to keeping you updated as that progresses.



Previous Articles

Community Monthly Update – November 2023

We are really thrilled to let you know that Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has approved WSWG’s Revised Wildwood Proposal and Business Plan for Taymount Wood. This is the first big goal achieved in our Community Asset Transfer Process to bring Taymount and Five Mile Woods into community ownership!

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Community Monthly Update – October 2023

A highlight for the WSWG Project this month has been the timely teaming up of a group of employees from Aviva in Perth with some unexpectedly lovely autumn weather for a day of corporate volunteering. On 2 October, five enthusiastic Aviva colleagues spent the day with WSWG in the middle of Taymount Wood on a range of interesting and very useful tasks, quite a contrast to their usual office based working environment.

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Community Monthly Update – September 2023

Given the distinctly seasonal change in the weather of late, we thought we would bring our Word of the Month up to the top of our September update. Psithurism: (Noun) The sound of wind in the trees and rustling of leaves, from “psithuros”, the Greek word for whispering. Enjoy your woods this autumn!

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Community Monthly Update – August 2023

This month we really want to share with you a wonderful event we had – the joint woodland picnic on 22 July with Tayside Woodland Partnerships (TWP). We pitched our gazebos in a lovely grassy glade in Taymount Wood and set out a delicious picnic spread courtesy of Alison’s Kitchen in Blairgowrie – quiches, sausage rolls and cakes galore – on portable tables kindly lent to us by Stanley Village Hall. More food and home-baking was brought by the picnickers themselves. Despite weather forecasts to the contrary, it was a beautiful day with not a drop of rain or drizzle. After lots of great chat and good food, we heard a little about each of our organisations’ respective projects and then took a walk up the main track to King’s Myre Loch.

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Community Monthly Update – July 2023

First up this month is for us to say a big thank you to a lovely group of young people from Ochil Tower School in Auchterarder who had come on a mini-bus trip to visit Taymount Wood on 21 June … and just did a litter-pick whilst they were there!! What a great example of being good citizens – enjoying the environment and taking care of it together.

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Community Monthly Update – June 2023

We want to start with a big thank you to all WSWG volunteers who helped in the Wildflower and Mining Bee Rescue Mission this spring. Many times more wildflowers have come through along the various stretches of raked verge than would have been the case had they remained swamped by gorse mulch and, as seen in the photo here, mining bees have successfully emerged where the track surfaces were cleared to help them out too. And of course the cleared sections of track make for more comfortable going again for walkers and dogs. Lots more areas still need attention, and we will keep doing what we can when we can, but thank you again to everyone who helped make a difference for nature this spring.

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